The towel like pads are more for waxing.
I don't think anyone here uses them, at least I never have.
Don't confuse compounding (buffing) with waxing.
We call it buffing but actually painters are talking about compounding.
When we buff paint the buffer throws off the compound as you go,
there's very little to wipe off afterwards-just the slinging overspray.
The compounds have no wax or silicones so new paint can
still dry and/or cure. If you're buffing old paint you can wax afterwards.
The foam pads last a long time, if you can keep from tearing them.
Wash them afterwards and they're fine.
You can also use a wool pad on your buffer, they're much more aggresive
and I don't recommend them for an inexperienced person.
It's real easy to burn through the paint with one.
Any foam pad will work for you, even the cheap ones, it's just the better
more expensive ones work better and quicker.
With different grit compounds you could use one pad for everything.
Once you practice on something a lot more will make sense.
Try a panel like your car door and see, just keep it moving and always
keep the pad spinning away from the edges, be very careful around
the edges. If you have two edges, like between two doors, tape one
to keep from buffing into it.